Archive for June, 2008

On Thursday, June 26 at 6:00pm concerned Venetians poured into the Westminster elementary school auditorium to discuss the Overnight Parking Districts, at a public hearing,  in front of the L.A. City Bureau of Engineering (BOE), who were given the job by L. A. City Council, to the tune of $70,000 (which came from the Venice Specific Fund). 

Following last nights hearing, the BOE will decide whether to support OPDs or not, according to land use, public access, development and other coastal issues.  If they decide to go ahead with the OPDs proposal, the BOE will submit their decision to the California Coastal Commission, who will make the final decision for or against the OPDs.

Last night’s crowd was large, eloquent, unruly at times (very Venice) and, in the majority, opposed to the OPDs, striking a blow to the minority of Venetians who seek overnight permit parking on their block.  Arguments were raised pro and con the issue with property owners accusing RV-dwellers of almost every crime in the book!  (I wager there’s more crime goes on in City Hall than on the streets of Venice – but it’s not the kinda crime that’s done out in the open rather the kind that twists and turns in the secret labyrinth of our elected officials convoluted minds!

But, just because most people are opposed to the OPDs doesn’t mean that the City or the protagonists will change tracks.  The process will grind on and the BOE will ONLY be looking at the specific coastal issues impacted by OPDs, they will not consider the plight of those living in their vehicles, nor the poor, not the many residents who have good reason to reject the OPDs proposal.  However, it will be possible to keep in touch with the process, which has until now been hidden from public view, and, when the time comes, appeal the BOE decision if necessary.

To be notified of the BOE decision send a request  to: Julie Van Wagner  julie.vanwagner@lacity.org

SOV

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June 12 – A press conference today kicked off a new recycling effort with 12 sparkling-clean blue bins for glass, plastic bottles and aluminum cans, “clean” paper, and other metals and plastics. Appearing at the press conference were Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, Venice Neighborhood Council President Mike Newhouse, and various officials from Chrysalis Enterprises, which will collect the recyclables. 

Once you toss your trash in the bins, its gone forever since the bins are locked, in contrast to the existing bins which will now hold only non-recyclable trash, according to the plan outlined today.
There was confusion about how Chrysalis would be paid, how many times it would empty the bins and even how many bins had been placed along the Walk. Neil Guglielmo, Director of the city’s Sanitation Dept. Recycling program, who was not at the press conference, later told the Beachhead that the funding for the bins was from Senate Bill 332, which provides grant money to the city in the amount of $1 million per year through the state Dept. of Conservation.

Patrick Shandrick, a Chrysalis spokesperson, told the Beachhead that his organization would be compensated from the proceeds of the recycled trash. Bill Rosendahl said the proceeds would go to the city’s general fund, however, he later said he could be mistaken. Newhouse said the city would subsidize Chrysalis for their trash pickups. 

A city official said the bins, which can be found every two or three blocks beginning at the Santa Monica border, said the bins would be picked up daily, however, Shandrick said the bins would be serviced twice a week. 

Newhouse, who said there were 11 bins, credited the VNC with getting the bins placed in Venice. He said there is still funding for placing 50-55 more bins on Rose Ave., Abbot Kinney Blvd. and Washington Blvd. Shandrick said Chrysalis is working to get the program expanded beyond Rosendahl’s Council District 11. Rosendahl wants to expand the program to Pacific Palisades, Brentwood and Westwood.

It’s a win-win program for nearly everyone. But the homeless who live around the beach and rely on the collection of cans and bottles to buy food have just had their lunch money taken away. For now, the only way to help the homeless get a meal, other than through panhandling, is to put your cans and bottles in the old receptacles where they can be recycled the old fashioned way.

Another city “improvement” is coming to Windward Avenue where pay stations are being installed to replace the parking meters on the street.  
Written by Peggy Lee Kennedy for Venice Beachhead